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Brown Thumb...Maybe Not!
I have tried in the past to grow things without being successful, but I never took the time required. Now, that I have plants that are doing well, I see what it was I was missing. I just thought in the past "what does a plant need, but sunlight and water?" I didn't realize that they need a little nurturing. They need to be re-potted when they are root bound...heck, I didn't even know what root bound was at that time. I didn't bother to move them around to find the appropriate sunlight they needed or sometimes even take the time to water them. I still haven't gotten to the point of using fertilizer, but I will only get better from here. I still have no clue as to what soil I should use with what plant, but that is also a work in progress. I always assumed that if something was turning brown that it was all downhill and I could forget it, so I did. I even killed some bamboo..who does that?! I didn't know that you could un-pot a plant, trim the roots, and re-pot it in fresh soil. I have done that with a few of my plants and realize that they lose some leaves, but grow back new ones with time. I think I just didn't want to make them "ugly", but sometimes that is what it takes to create new beautiful growth when the next season rolls around. I think I was expecting too much too soon and wasn't being patient also. Please feel free to comment if you notice anything that I am not doing correctly. I will not take offense because I really do still have a long way to go and will take any tips you may be able to provide!
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Beth I think we've all been there and had many of the same experiences as you have. When I first took an interest in plants my parents bought me some cacti. Would you believe I managed to kill each and every one?!! I was told all they needed was a little water now and again. WRONG!! Now I'm older (much, much, much older) and am an organic gardener but I still have lots of things to learn. I don't think there has ever been a gardener who knows everything. Life would be so boring if there were nothing new to work out.
Ha ! Don`t worry,, you are getting there. As for plant food,,look in your kitchen. Example,, Is it not as full and green as it should be,,coffee and tea have a lot of nitrogen. There are many household items that re excellent plant food. Throw vegetable peels in a blender and feed your plants. Epsom salts makes a foliar feed that is good for plants or you can dig it into the soil.
Beth, allow me to remind you of one of Thomas Jefferson's famous quotes, "Though an old man, I am only a young gardener." Also, keep in mind sayings similar to 'crawl before walking', etc.. Almost all of the folks on this forum are generous and kind with their recommendations, guidance, and counsel; so, don't hesitate to post questions when you feel like it...
Thank you all for the kind words of wisdom! Everyone has been very nice ever since I first joined Garden Stew. It is a refreshing change of pace from the normal ugliness of the online world. I feel peaceful working with my plants and flowers. I am lucky to find such a wonderful group of people that feel the same and can offer me advice!
I really appreciated this. Thanks for sharing.